Boris Johnson warns UK lockdown must continue as he returns to work

The prime minister has warned that easing lockdown could spark a second peak of infections

Boris Johnson has warned that the lockdown must continue, in his first address to the UK since recovering from coronavirus.

Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: “I’m sorry I’ve been away from my desk for much longer than I would’ve liked but I want to thank everyone who has stepped up.”

Johnson thanked the UK for the “sheer grit and guts you’ve continued to show”, but also warned that now is not the time to “go easy” on the virus.

“We are now beginning to turn the tide,” he said. “I ask you to contain you impatience because I believe now we are coming to the end of the first phase of this conflict.”

He added that the government would say in the “coming days” about how it plans to “fire up the engines of this vast UK economy”.

Johnson also warned about the risk of a second peak of infections, and said he did not wish to “throw away the sacrifice of the British people” by easing lockdown restrictions too quickly.

Johnson was released from intensive care last week, with Dominic Raab deputising in his absence.

The UK has been in lockdown since March 23, with citizens forced to stay at home except to shop for food and medicine, for only one form of exercise per day, and to travel to and from essential workplaces.